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Monaco take Ligue 1 lead

Associated Press logo Associated Press 29/11/2016

Monaco have claimed top spot in French football's Ligue 1 with a 1-1 draw at promoted Dijon.

An 88th-minute equaliser from Dijon midfielder Frederic Sammaritano made Monaco pay for their failure to control the game after Argentine forward Guido Carrillo opened the scoring after 17 minutes.

Monaco now lead Nice on goal difference alone with both on 33 points while Nice can reclaim the top spot at Guingamp on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT).

Monaco was a pale imitation of their usual slicker self.

Their defending was hesitant and the players' touch and inventiveness was missing on a chilly night against a feisty Dijon team.

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim won't have recognised his side whose tally of 44 goals so far this season is the highest of any in Europe's top five leagues.

Djibril Sidibe, who has grafted his way into France coach Didier Deschamps' national side this autumn, created the breakthrough for Monaco, throwing off the Dijon defence with a twisting run before unleashing a shot that goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet clumsily spilled.

Carrillo then beat the Dijon captain to the loose ball, sliding in to net his sixth league goal in 11 matches.

A pass from second-half substitute Lois Diony set up Sammaritano's tidily scored close-range equaliser.

"We played with our hearts. We left our guts on the pitch," Sammaritano said.

In Tuesday evening's earlier matches, Lille climbed out of the relegation zone with a 4-2 victory against Caen and last-place Lorient got a badly needed 2-1 win in a Brittany derby against Rennes.

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